st pauls riots 1980

The St Paul’s Riots: from ‘mindless mob’ to ‘conscious crowd’

Dr Roger Ball, Thursday 15 October 2020 18:00-19:00

The violent disturbance in the St Paul’s area of Bristol on 2 April 1980 is regarded as iconic. It heralded the beginning of a decade or more of unrest in English cities. It is also central to the modern history of Bristol, marking a moment where issues of institutional and popular racism were forced into the media spotlight. National and local government bodies were obliged to search for explanations and generate policy responses. Many contemporary reports in the media of the ‘St Paul’s riot’ described the actions of an ‘immigrant’, ‘mob’ of ‘black youths’ who were ‘going wild’ in the ‘chaos’ of a ‘race riot’.

Using both written, visual and oral sources, Dr Roger Ball, will re-examine the event and outline how this racialised and outmoded representation of the ‘crowd’ was challenged in its aftermath by ground-breaking, and now seminal, social-psychological research focussing on the concept of social identity.

Roger Ball is a research fellow at UWE Bristol.

This talk is part of our Black History Month Programme.

Details and how to join this live online talk are available here.

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